Lawmakers in the House of Sierra Leone Parliament on Tuesday 8th December 2015 adopted or ratified the Private Members’ motion bill titled: ‘the Safe Abortion Act, 2015,’ following a rigorous reception by Members of Parliament (MPs) not in favor of the piece of legislation.
The new law among other things now decriminalizes the previous 1861 Abortion Law making it possible for persons above 18 to now choose whether to abort or carry a pregnancy under certain circumstances.
The Bill was proposed by Hon. Isata Kabia (APC) who expressed her relief over the passing of a law which she says depicts the views of the women and girls suffering from unsafe and crude abortion practices across the country.
It should be noted that the first presentation of the law was met with stiff (but convert) resistance as no consensus was reached with many MPs either walking out or boycotting the session; protesting their dislike for what they described as a ‘bad law’, despite moves by the Speaker to bring them in.
Their argument was premised on moral and religious grounds but to this another MP (Hon. Manley-Spaine) said that does not depict the reality on the ground.
Valerie Tucker, Head IPAS-SL, a key campaigner for the adoption of safe adoption bill expressed her relief that the law was enacted by the Sierra Leone Parliament and registered her gratitude.
Similar views where expressed by the likes of Hon. Gladis Bappie Brima (SLPP) who told the Speaker and MPs that she was smiling and happy that the House could ratify the safe abortion law.